Tag Archives: Faculty

Faculty recital features Sherrill Roberts and guests

She slid her bow across the cello strings with piercing intensity, playing along to lines about sea foam and love.

That’s how Sherill Roberts, cellist and adjunct professor of music, opened her faculty recital April 15 in the Delkin Recital Hall.

The packed  room listened as Roberts and a variety of accompanists created music to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking.

Roberts’ accompanists included her daughters Rosemary Roberts on the harp and Amelia Bierly on the cello.

The family trio blended the harp and cellos to weave together, “A Shape of Ice,” a piece composed by Bierly.

Bierly gained inspiration to write the piece from Tom Hardy’s 1912 poem, “The Convergence of the Twain (Lines on the loss of the Titanic).”

“I took inspiration from the rhythmic and melodic cadences of Hardy’s words,” Bierly said. “His rich, yet sparse writing style challenged me to create full textures and timbres while still maintaining a sense of great space.”

The next pieces were parts of the trio, “Enchantment of April,” which featured the sounds of piano, cello and clarinet. Chris Engbretson accompanied on piano while Theresa Schumacher mixed in clarinet.

Between pieces, Roberts took a break from playing cello to introduce Judy Koontz, an audience member whose grandmother, Kate Herman, was a passenger on the Titanic.

Roberts circled the room, showing a faded photo of Herman at age 24.

The next song,”Rest in Peace, Titanic,”  was composed by Schumacher’s aunt.

“When I mentioned to [Schumacher] that this concert was on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, she said that her Great Aunt Tilly had published a song about the event,” Roberts said. “We thought it would be fun to include in the program.”

Schumacher explained how the family didn’t know how her aunt had written music until after she passed away.

“It was quite a surprise when we found that sheet music in one of her drawers,” Schumacher said. “Dear old Aunt Tilly could do more than everyone thought.”

“Rest in Peace, Titanic” featured bold piano chords by Engbretson, Roberts on the cello, and accompanying singing by soprano Natalie Gunn.

Roberts finished the evening with an emotional, lively rendition of Frank Schubert’s “Quintet in C Major, Opus 163.” Accompanists added violins and a viola to Roberts’ and Bierly’s cellos, creating  dramatic, passionate music.

“The two cellos have some sublime melodic passages that need to sound almost as one instrument,” Roberts said. “To find a cellist who could play so perfectly with me, I had to grow my own.”

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Joanna Peterson/
Managing editor
Joanna Peterson  can be reached at linfieldreviewmanaging@gmail.com.

Faculty sing, play poet’s dark love story

Two professors told a love story through a vocal and piano duet Nov. 13.

Anton Belov, assistant professor of music, and Jill Timmons, professor of music, combined talents to create their faculty recital in Ice Auditorium.

Belov, a baritone, sang pieces by a range of composers, from Tchaikovsky to Robert Schumann. Timmons accompanied him on piano.

The recital, titled, “A Poet’s Love,” featured the works of Schumann, who used Heinrich Heine’s poetry to compose the song, “Dichterliebe.”

The song tells the story of a poet who falls in love with a young woman.

The piece incorporates strong images from the natural world, using things like plants and water to evoke the descriptions attached to the characters.

Throughout the segments of the song, the characters’ love develops before falling apart.

Belov sang passionately during the middle segments, illustrating how the narrator must have felt to see the woman he loved betray him.

“It’s a dark kind of love story,” Belov said.

Timmons and Belov also performed works by Tchaikovsky, Franz Liszt, Francesco Santoliquido, Alexander Glazunov and Sergey Rachmaninoff.

The duo chose Schumann’s piece because Belov had previously performed it many times, and because Timmons said she had always dreamed of performing it.

“I have such a strong connection to the piece,” Belov said. “There is so much hidden. There is secret meaning in each poem and strong connections throughout.”

Timmons said she and Belov met weekly before the recital, working on song interpretation, style and performance.

“Sometimes we had different interpretations of the pieces, but we worked through them,” Belov said.

Timmons said that working collaboratively was a positive experience because it gave her the opportunity to see pieces from new perspectives.

“The beauty of working with another musician is the way you adjust to each other’s interpretations of the piece,” Timmons said. “[Belov] had a different view of the work than I did, so I found myself adapting, which was really refreshing.”

The pieces evolved during their practice times, Belov said. He said they would continue to change each time the duo performed them, shifting along with the musicians.

Timmons said she enjoyed the performance and the wide range of audience members who attended—from trustees to the president of the school to students.

“We had great audience interaction,” she said. “We felt strong participation in the music and poetry.”

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Joanna Peterson/
Managing editor
Joanna Peterson can be reached at linfieldreviewmanaging@gmail.com. 

 

Professor co-edits book on bicycle philosophy

bike

Jesus

Linfield Assistant Philosophy Professor Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza published a six-part book of essays in August 2010.
The book, Cycling — Philosophy for Everyone: A Philosophical Tour de Force, was co-edited by Ilundáin-Agurruza and Associate Professor of Philosophy Michael Austin from Eastern Kentucky University, according to a press release from Linfield College website.
Production began in the spring of 2008, and the book was completed one year later, Ilundáin-Agurruza said.
According to the press release, “The book wheels its way through the terrain of life’s more complicated philosophical questions, with essayists covering everyone from Lance Armstrong to Socrates, and discussing cycling’s identity crisis, ethical issues related to success, women bikers, critical mass rides and the environment.”
Ilundáin-Agurruza said that philosophy can be looked at as a way of thinking more carefully and deeply.
“It’s a different rhythm of thinking,” Ilundáin-Agurruza said, referring to his experience with looking at cycling from a philosophical angle. “It’s related to meditation.”
Ilundáin-Agurruza said that virtually anything a person is interested in can be viewed as a philosophy. For example, there can be a tennis, golf or running philosophy, he said.
It’s most meaningful when it’s connected to things you care about,” Ilundáin-Agurruza said, referring to the concept of philosophy.
Ilundáin-Agurruza has been a dedicated cyclist for 18 years. His first serious interest in cycling came after he suffered from a knee injury, he said. Cycling helped his knee grow stronger.
On top of cycling being a way of life, he has been racing since he was in graduate school. According to the press release, he “competes as a category two racer.”
Even though Ilundáin-Agurruza owns a car, he said he prefers to commute by bicycle unless he has to travel somewhere such as the airport.
“The bicycle is the most effective vehicle.” Ilundáin-Agurruza said.
As far as expectations for his book, Ilundáin-Agurruza said that he hopes it becomes popular within bicycle circles.
“It has something to offer to racers and commuters,” Ilundáin-Agurruza said.
For more information about Cycling — Philosophy for Everyone: A Philosophical Tour de Force, contact professor Ilundáin-Agurruza at jilunda@linfield.edu

Chelsea Bowen/Opinion editor
Chelsea Bowen can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com.

Professor analyzes newspaper art history

In honor of the newest exhibit, “Uncertain Times: Contemporary Art Views on the Fate of the Newspaper,” at the historic Pittock Mansion in Portland, a Linfield professor discussed the symbolism of newspapers in 19th century paintings Oct. 26 in the Pittock Mansion Social Room.
Brian Winkenweder, Art and Visual Culture Department chair and associate professor of art history and visual culture, analyzed artists’ responses to the ever-changing transitions that print newspapers have endured through the years.
The mansion’s exhibit featured artwork displaying the hardship and success of the print newspaper industry. It raised questions about the possible symbolism that newspapers present, Winkenweder said.
“It used to be that newspapers were found at taverns and inns, where a literate person read to the illiterate,” he said. “The change in culture has had artists respond to the shifts.”
Winkenweder concentrated on three artists and their paintings: Sir David Wilkie’s “Chelsea Pensioners Receiving the London Gazette Extraordinary of Thursday, June 22nd, 1815, Announcing the Battle at Waterloo;” Richard Caton Woodville’s “War News from Mexico;” and Paul Cézanne’s portraits of his father reading a newspaper.
“The exhibit and presentation tied into the theme of the newspaper well,” junior Alison Pate said. “[Winkenweder] went back to the root, looking backward in time, whereas the exhibit was looking forward. So the whole thing ended up being circular.”
The common themes for the paintings Winkenweder discussed were war and victory.
“Newspapers have been a cataclysmic force for shaping opinion and patriotism,” Winkenweder said. “This has been a key defining point for modernism and is an interesting theory and philosophy to explore in the images.”
Winkenweder, who had been planning his speech since last spring, presented his observations in a PowerPoint, which included detailed analyses of the paintings.
“[Winkenweder] is my adviser, professor and boss, so I wanted to go and support him,” Pate said. “It’s nice to get off campus, meet new people and go somewhere new.”
Henry Pittock, the original owner of the mansion, became the owner of The Oregonian in 1861. The exhibit, in part, branched from this history, Wikenweder said.
“The exhibit was really well put together, demonstrating a wide variety of newspaper history,” Pate said. “It was so appropriate for Pittock Mansion, and everything meshed together well.”
Winkenweder has prior experience on the topic with a master’s degree and a published journal.
He is currently working on a show about the demise of print newspapers, he said.
“The news industry is always in flux, and we are just experiencing another transformation,” Winkenweder said. “Artists are aware of and are pointing out these transformations.”
To learn more about the Pittock Mansion and its art exhibit, visit pittockmansion.org.

Jessica Prokop/Culture editor
Jessica Prokop can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com

Resident pianist travels, teaches abroad in France

Dr. Jill Timmons, artist-in residence for the Vivian Bull Music Center, served as the artistic director for Musique à Beaumont, an international piano institute in France this past summer.
Timmons, who was on sabbatical during Spring Semester, spent time in France from March to the middle of August. During this period, she devoted her time to completing two projects. One was wrapping up a book she wrote about how to have a career in music. Her second project was leading master classes at the 12-day immersion institute. The classes, which were designed for professional piano teachers, concentrated on two-piano repertoire and piano duets, which performers played together on one piano.
“I love visiting other parts of the world and seeing how they are different and the same; it allows me to perform and teach my favorite thing,” Timmons said.
At the end of the program, participants performed in a concert demonstrating the skills and techniques they developed at the institute. Performers also received feedback from professional critics on what they had accomplished during their time at the institute.
Participants in the program used it as a personal retreat as well as an opportunity for historical and cultural sightseeing, Timmons said.
“We were right in the middle of castle country, where there were about 350 castles in the Val de Loire [Loire Valley],” she said. “In fact, we stayed at the Domaine de Beaumont, a castle that had its out buildings turned into bed and breakfasts.”
One of the most memorable experiences, Timmons said, was visiting the estate of Frédéric Chopin, a late famous composer and virtuoso pianist, and late author George Sand in the town of Nohant.
This was not Timmons first trip to France. In fact, her husband, Sylvain Frémaux, is from France. He served as the executive director of the program.
Timmons plans to conduct a short musical tour in March and June of 2011.
“It’s a real passion for me, this repertoire,” she said.
Timmons, who has played the piano since the age of 5, comes from a musical family in which every member played an instrument. She begged for piano lessons and quickly made progress with a lot of practice and help from a great concert pianist, she said. However, there was a time when Timmons seriously contemplated pursuing a career in science, and she even visited the Oregon Primate Center during her senior year of high school, she said.
“I was such a science nerd, and I still am; I love watching the Discovery Channel,” Timmons said. But she won a piano competition that same year and played a Mozart piece in an orchestra instead.
Timmons attended the University of Washington and earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music in performance. She then went on to Boston University, where she received a Master of Music and then returned to the University of Washington for a Doctor of Musical Arts. During her schooling, she worked by playing and teaching piano.Shortly after finishing her dissertation, Timmons saw that Linfield College was looking to hire a pianist. She read the job description, auditioned and has been at Linfield since 1981. “Sometimes it feels like yesterday, but I’ve never looked back,” Timmons said. Chris Engbretson, now Timmons’ colleague, met Timmons at the University of Washington.
“Jill does the perfect amount of nurturing and mothering but sets clear expectations,” Engbretson said. Engbretson was taking a master class with his teacher, Judith Cohan, who happened to be playing two piano concerts with Timmons at the time. It was Cohan’s recommendation that the two meet, and they have kept in touch ever since, Engbretson said.
“We have never had a bad lesson or walked away from one feeling unhappy about it,” he said. “[Timmons] is a fabulous pianist and has always made me feel great about my progress.”
Timmons’ career as a pianist has changed throughout the years. She started as a soloist on the road, then became interested in recording and did more collaborative work. Now she is focusing on her two-piano repertoire, she said. Timmons has performed at places such as Carnegie Recital Hall in Manhattan, N.Y., the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Tanglewood Music Festival.
Throughout her career, she has traveled across the world and has visited many countries in Europe, as well as Chile, and most of the states in America.

Jessica Prokop/Culture editor
Jessica Prokop can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.